If Apple wanted to sound out the market, then planting a story to gauge market reaction would make a lot of sense. We don’t know that they have done this, but there is much noise today in the market of a new larger iPod Touch, which if it were to happen, would clearly not only rewrite the notebook world but obliterate the eink readers in a heartbeat.
Apple have apparently been experimenting internally with a large form of tablet for some time but have never taken the bold step into the market. However the huge success of the iPhone , iTunes and IPod family has brought touch screens to everyone and there are now considerable numbers of games, videos, and even books that could find a common home. Apple claim that over 300 million applications have been downloaded since they launched their App Store last July. 2008.
The current iPod touch has a 3.5 inch screen and ranges in price between $229 and $399 so we can expect a iTablet to be higher but it effectively starts to merge the laptop and the IPod with Apps Store and iTunes and in doing so create a family that could hurt the likes of Microsoft, all PC manufacturers and media moguls such as Amazon. It is interesting to note that we all thought that Microsoft was unstoppable, but Apple has continued to chip away, gain iconic status and attack the media market from a completely new angle.
Steve Jobs said he wasn't going to build an ebook reader. He hasn't. He however is building a media platform in which ebooks are accommodated and find a natural home!
The idea of a wireless mini-tablet with the multi-touch interface is insipring. We have seen the pulling power of the iPhone and iPod now to have something a little larger making DVD players, notebooks and ereaders redundant, would be not only natural, but also a clear step change. We predict it would be a category killer that would redefine the category and if it were to happen we certainly want one!
If this is true I am SO happy I haven't bought a Kindle yet. This would blow the top off of e-book world...
This is such a natural I am amazed they have not done it sooner. The Apple store would be such a fantastic distribution medium.
I would hope it would have text to speech mechanism too. Barnes and Noble would go the way of the daily newspaper.
This would do in paper books and be the final nail in the coffin of newspapers!
Take this idea a little further - not just ebooks but iBooks - meaning intelligent ebooks - for example the iBird app for iPhone replaces the traditional field guide, a $100 million market (eg National Geo Field Guide to Birds of North America with 25 million copies in print) giving a field guide with a search engine, bird sounds, 4000 equiv pages for $20. Say bye to PDFs. Check app store for iBird Plus and see what an iBook looks like. Then think of what a large format touch could do to kill print.
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